David is brewing his legacy back to life.

How the clues our ancestors leave us can uncover who we were meant to be.

Prohibition and the passage of time left some gaps in David’s family story.

He knew the Thieme & Wagner Brewing Company was a big part of his heritage, but there were missing pieces, especially after the brewery was forced to close.

The Thieme & Wagner Brewing Company

The Thieme & Wagner Brewing Company in its heyday.

Beer remained the family business, and after his grandfather passed away, David vowed to carry on the Thieme brewing tradition. He started a family tree with Ancestry to see what else he could learn.

David's family tree

David started building his tree—and hints began to fill in more of the story.

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David’s German roots showed where the family’s brewing legacy began

A passport helped him trace his family’s journey from Germany to America. And other records led him to Frederick Paul Thieme, his 3rd great-grandfather, the founder of the Thieme & Wagner Brewing Company.

Brewmaster William Haas

Brewmaster William Haas

As he went deeper into Frederick’s story, David discovered a brewing document from 1913 with a message scrawled on the top: “Property of William Haas.” David learned William Haas was the brewmaster at the time. This clue was the detail David needed to unlock more of his story.

David searched for the brewer so entwined with his family’s history.

With over 10 billion historical records, Ancestry.com offers documents like birth, marriage, and census records that can help piece together family stories. One such document—a Haas family death certificate—was the link David needed to locate William Haas’s living relative, great-granddaughter Bonnie Haas.

Bonnie Haas

He found more than a connection to his past—David found a recipe that would change his life.

Bonnie shared a brewer’s journal she had from the early days of the Thieme & Wagner Brewing Co. Written inside by hand were the ingredients and instructions to make the Thieme family’s beer. This recipe, hidden so long, inspired David to follow in his ancestors’ footsteps and brew the beer himself.

recipe journal

He found more than a connection to his past—David found a recipe that would change his life.

Bonnie shared a brewer’s journal she had from the early days of the Thieme & Wagner Brewing Co. Written inside by hand were the ingredients and instructions to make the Thieme family’s beer. This recipe, hidden so long, inspired David to follow in his ancestors’ footsteps and brew the beer himself.

What was so amazing about the recipe was the physical proof that my ancestor had never cut corners.”

In a taproom in Lafayette, Indiana, the Thieme tradition continues.

David’s German heritage and his family’s commitment to quality come through in every beer he produces today at the People’s Brewing Company using that original family recipe. David is proud to continue as the 6th generation in the family business—a brewmaster in his own right.

My first brewed beer, I really have to say hats off to my ancestors for watching over it.”

- DAVID THIEME

Ancestry member since 2014

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